Research Insights: What Can Latin American Local Governments Do to Improve Public Health?

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Mar 2023
Health outcomes can vary significantly across cities within the same country, and within neighborhoods of the same city in Latin America and the Caribbean. This variation is partly explained by aspects of the urban environment that can be shaped through local policy. Public infrastructure investments, especially those in water, sanitation, and public transportation, have well-documented positive effects on local public health. Lower-cost interventions can also improve local health outcomes. These include zoning policies to protect people from negative externalities, the enforcement of road safety regulations, and the building of open public spaces to promote walkability and healthy lifestyles.